Phragmites Fam. Pl. 2: 34, 559 (1763).
Derivation:. From the Greek for enclosure, the culms being used for fencing.
Taxonomic revisions, nomenclatural references:. W.D.Clayton, Kew Bull. 21: 113–117 (1967).
Key references (keys and floras):. G.Bentham, Flora Australiensis 7: 636–637 (1878); C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae 131–133 (1952); E.E.Henty, Manual Grasses New Guinea 148 (1969); M.Lazarides, Tropical Grasses S.E. Asia 152 (1980); M.Lazarides, Flora of Central Australia 438 (1981); J.C.Tothill and J.B.Hacker, Grasses of Southern Queensland 346–347 (1983); J.P.Jessop, Flora of South Australia 4: 1855 (1986); E.M.Bennett, Flora of the Kimberley Region 1206 (1992); B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 145 (1993); S.W.L.Jacobs and K.L.McClay, Flora of New South Wales 4: 563–564 (1993); N.G.Walsh, Flora of Victoria 2: 548–549 (1994); D.I.Morris, Student's Flora of Tasmania 4B: 322 (1994); E.Edgar and H.E.Connor, Flora of New Zealand 5: 421–422 (2000); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002); K.Mallet (ed.), Flora of Australia 44B: Poaceae 3: 6–9 (2005); J.P.Jessop, Grasses of South Australia 309–311 (2006); S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th ed, 340 (2008).
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (293).
Native. 3 species, from cosmopolitan regions. 2 species in Australia, WA, NT, SA, Qld, NSW, Vic, and Tas. Also New Guinea, Malesia and New Zealand.
Habit. Perennial, rhizomatous and stoloniferous. Culms woody and persistent to herbaceous (often somewhat persistent). Leaf blades broad. Ligule a fringe of hairs.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence paniculate, an open panicle with branches ending in single spikelets, open (20–60 cm long, plumose, the fertile lemmas surrounded by long white silky hairs).
Spikelets. Spikelets laterally compressed, more than 2 flowered, with 2 or more fertile florets, pedicelled; with naked rachilla extension. Fertile spikelets with lower incomplete floret(s), disarticulating above glumes (at least above the lower lemma).
Glumes. Glumes unequal, shorter than spikelet, shorter than adjacent lemmas, pointed, awnless, non-keeled (rounded on the back), similar (membranous). Lower glume 3–5 nerved. Upper glume 3–5 nerved.
Florets. Lower incomplete floret(s) male (the stamens often 2), or sterile. Lemmas awnless, 3(–7) nerved, more or less equalling fertile lemmas, similar in texture to fertile lemmas (membranous), not becoming indurated. Fertile florets (2–)3–10. Lemmas narrow, lanceolate, similar in texture to glumes (membranous), not becoming indurated, entire at apex, pointed (acute to acuminate or aristulate), muticous or awned (narrow-attenuate, muticous to aristulate), 1–3 nerved, glabrous. Awns apical, non-geniculate, much shorter than body of lemma. Palea conspicuous and relatively short, entire, 2 nerved. Distal incomplete florets underdeveloped. Callus long (and slender), blunt. Lodicules 2. Stamens 3. Grain small, compressed dorsiventrally (to sub-terete). Hilum short. Embryo large.
2n = 36, 44, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, and 96, 3, 4, and 8 ploid (and aneuploids).
Classification. Arundinoideae; Arundineae.
Notes. A uniform genus of barely separable species. The spikelets emerge in a juvenile stage and mature on the panicle (Clayton and Renvoize, 1986). Together with the genera Arundo, Amphipogon and Molinia constitutes the arundinoid clade of the Grass Phylogeny Working Group (GPWG, 2001).
Types Species. P. australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Cosmopolitan.